Prologue: My bright idea. My sisters, my niece and I will make a mitered throw for my parents. Surprise our mom who knits for everyone.
This'll be in the spirit of Mason Dixon Knitting - a collaboration, two of us Yankees,
the other two south of the divide line in the DC area. We ignore history. The last collaboration - a parody song for an anniversary party- unleashed levels of sisterly sniping unseen since we used to share a bathroom and steal each others' clothes. (usually they took mine. For the record..I still want that vintage mexican jacket back).
The rules: We agree there are no rules. We will use the same yarn & pattern. Choose any colors you want. No quota of squares per person. No hard deadline. No telling anyone else that their square is ugly.
The personae: We are all in the visual arts professionally. warning warning! We have Opinions on Things Visual. We grew up knitting but only one of us knits all the time now. One of us used to work as a textile designer/illustrator. One of us is more experimental with materials than all the others. One of us is still in high school and is slightly freaked out by her mom and 2 aunts bickering like 12 year olds.
My front lawn, late Saturday afternoon. I've already persuaded the sister who doesn't relax enough to watch me garden, take a long bike ride and have a glass of wine .That last one wasn't so difficult, persuasion-wise. We crack the book, take out the freshly arrived yarn. We cast on. We sip wine. Lulu develops some problems. The pattern says size 6 us needles gets gauge, she is using 7's. I am on size 5 because I almost always need to go down a size. A few rows in, Lulu's miters are looking funny. She can barely move the yarn, its squeaking she's got it so tightly pulled. She accuses me of telling her to keep the knitting on the tight side. I, of course, deny. We then have an extended conversation about why its pointless to try to guess gauge when you've only knit 3/4 of an inch. I tell her to measure when she gets to 4" or better yet, consider her first square a swatch and we'll measure when we finish them. She further claims I'm not demonstrating the ssk well.
We sip more wine. We admire the stripes.
she: what color will you do next?
me: ummm, I don't know. I guess I'll see what I'm in the mood for.
she: but , only two colors, right?
me: No, I might use more. Remember, we agreed, no rules on colors?
she: But you will keep the stripes uniform, right? No skinnier?
me: oh, I think some split stripes will look cool
she: No! the pattern says 6 row stripes
me: remember, we all agreed, no rules...
she: (and here's where the conversation starts to devolve )
You know. Saying No Rules is Making a Rule. You are making a rule.
me: (with attitude although I guess she's right on a technicality but you didn't hear me say that ) well. I'm am not promising my stripes will all be the same thickness.
We restrain ourselves from sticking out our tongues. I breathe deeply and contemplate the nature of collaboration and sisterhood.
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